- The Washington Times - Friday, August 10, 2018

The end result of Thursday’s 26-17 loss to the New England Patriots was ultimately meaningless to the Washington Redskins, given that it was the preseason. But the action gave coach Jay Gruden and his staff plenty of tape to evaluate.

Here are some takeaways from the outing — based on the good, bad and the ugly.

Derrius Guice flashes before leaving hurt

If Derrius Guice misses a significant amount of time after suffering a knee injury in the first quarter, then that would be a serious blow to the Redskins. The rookie running back did his best to squash that concern, telling reporters he was fine.

The NFL Network, however, reported Friday the 21-year-old’s initial diagnosis was a sprained MCL, which needed to be confirmed with an MRI. The severity of the sprain will likely determine how long Guice could be out.

Before the injury, Guice demonstrated the patience, power and explosiveness that led Washington to draft him in the second round. While he managed only 19 yards on six carries, Guice’s best run came on the play he suffered the injury, which was also wiped out on a holding call:

Here we see Guice adjust off his initial read and bounce to the outside, finding the better hole. He topped the move off with a spin move to juke a Patriots defender and an impressive stiff arm.

Tim Settle and Shaun Dion Hamilton impress

The Redskins gave up 23 second-half points, but defensive tackle Tim Settle and linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton stood out when they got significant playing time. Both drafted in the fifth round, the two worked in tandem together and made some nice plays.

Settle, in particular, was a force, pushing back opposing offensive linemen — creating enough room for other defenders to make plays. On the play below, notice how Settle uses his 298-pound frame to drive past the initial block and stop the run:

Settle finished with five tackles, two of which were solo, a pass defended and a fumble recovery.

Hamilton, meanwhile, had a keen sense of awareness for the ball. Throughout camp, Gruden had praised the Alabama product’s intellect and it was easy to see why on Thursday. Hamilton had 10 tackles and one pass defended.

Danny Johnson plays well in secondary

Asked last week which undrafted free agents were impressing him, Gruden singled out cornerback Danny Johnson. At 5-foot-9, Johnson is a smaller defensive back, but he managed well on the outside.

Johnson displayed good hands, keeping receivers from bursting off the line of scrimmage and using them to stay in stride with runners down field.

Wide receiver depth still needs sorting

The competition for the final three spots at wide receiver is wide open, and the picture didn’t become clearer after Thursday. The trio of Maurice Harris, Robert Davis and undrafted free agent Cam Sims each had their moment to shine.

Harris, who has had a strong camp, hauled in three catches for 22 yards and a touchdown. Harris is known for his big-play ability, though he needs to prove he can make plays consistency against top competition. Still, he looked like a reliable option for quarterback Colt McCoy.

Robert Davis, a 2017 sixth-round pick, had three catches for 35 yards, including this nice grab:

But the biggest play of the night came from Sims — a 57-yard gain that included a dazzling start-and-stop move when he hauled in the deep pass from McCoy. Sims has had a quieter camp in comparison to receivers like Brian Quick and Trey Quinn, but that’s one way to get noticed.

Quick, by the way, did not play against the Patriots and Quinn left the game early after taking a hard shot to the stomach.

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